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2017-08-15 19:53 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 2759 references
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Let me say this just one more time:

That someone is a Neo-Nazi, a White Supremacist, KKK member or racist does not render them bereft of the First Amendment.  Just as being a member of BLM or the Antifa does not render them bereft of the First Amendment.

It is not acceptable, legal or excusable to meet speech by any such person with violence.

Period.

To suggest, state, or advocate that such is the case, or to promote the premise that violence is an appropriate remedy for speech you find vile and outrageous is to declare civil war, because there are others who will likely find your speech vile and outrageous and by your statement you have made the claim that just punishment for speech you deem vile is to be found at the hands of a mob.

The press and now lawmakers are openly advocating for the complete breakdown of civil society -- they are stating by the droves that violence in response to mere speech that one finds offensive yet has the protection of the First Amendment is not only worthy of said violence the person uttering same is not worthy of having their assailants prosecuted or the protection and investigation of the police forces to interdict violence intended for or served upon them.

These people are explicitly refusing to call on the carpet Governor McAuliffe and everyone in the chain of command from the Charlottesville PD upward who were involved in any way in intentionally funneling opposing protesters into each other, knowing that some of them were armed and then allowed said PD to sit back and withdraw when violence occurred.

Let me remind you that not only did the "alt-right" people have a permit the city attempted to revoke it and their action was struck down by a Federal Judge who granted an injunction against the city.  The organizers not only requested and received the promise of public law enforcement support a judge signed an order demanding same -- an order that was then intentionally disobeyed by everyone from McAuliffe on down and, as a direct and proximate result, multiple deaths and myriad injuries occurred.

In fact these same members of the press and lawmakers, who I have now lost count of, are in fact stating that it is perfectly acceptable for the police to intentionally ignore persons initiating and committing violence against those who speak in a way that someone finds offensive, and even worse, to intentionally foment violent confrontations between these groups due to their direct actions and deliberate inactions, and further it is completely acceptable for all of the above law enforcement and civil officials to ignore the lawful orders of a Federal Judge.

May I remind said members of the press, politicians and others that their speech is often found offensive by someone, and that if they advocate for and promote this rank lawlessness and blatantly unconstitutional behavior they will have nobody but themselves to blame when, not if, the nation erupts into violence on a level not seen in America since the 1860s and their homes, businesses and entire cities are sacked by persons who are aggrieved by their mere speech.

I have never in my life believed -- until today -- that we would see such an event in this nation again.

Today I fully expect it to happen and when this outcome occurs it will lay at the feet of the press and lawmakers.

There has only been one person thus far -- President Trump -- with the balls to make the statement in public that violence in response to speech is never acceptable.  For this you excoriate him.

He's right, you're wrong, and your course of action is begging for the literal destruction of our society.

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2017-08-14 14:44 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 1609 references
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What if it's all a scam?

What if Jason Kessler isn't really a right-wing extremist?

What if Jason Kessler used to be involved with Occupy Wall Street and was a strong Obama supporter -- right up until, quite-literally to the day, Trump won the election?

What if he's nothing more than a stooge?

In other words, what if Jason Kessler is just a plain old-fashioned *******-for-hire?

Hmmmm.....

At one recent speech in favor of Charlottesville’s status as a sanctuary city, Kessler live-streamed himself as an attendee questioned him and apologized for an undisclosed spat during Kessler’s apparent involvement with Occupy. Kessler appeared visibly perturbed by the woman’s presence and reminders of their past association.

May I remind you that The Southern Poverty Law Center, the source of the above, is thought of as a fairly hard-left organization.  In other words, it's extremely unlikely they'd try to smear this guy with an unwarranted claim that he was involved with a hard-left cause!  Yet there's the accusation that he was formerly associated with Occupy, a socialist (if not communist) cause that was about as diametrically opposed to the KKK or "alt-right" as one can imagine.

Further, nearly all of the SPLC's documented incidents of his "hard right" behavior appear to date to just after and beyond the 2016 elections.

Hmmmm....

Again folks: What if all -- or at least most -- of Charlottesville was manufactured by people operating through paid stooges with the explicit intent of fomenting violence -- or worse?

One of the "intended speakers" for that event, I note (no idea if he actually spoke) is someone who has apparently stated that he'd like to see a second Civil War in America.

And finally, what if -- just what if -- Trump knew of this jackass' history when he said that the hate and violence was present "on many sides"?

What if Trump is right and this entire incident was basically manufactured, seeking and utilizing paid stooges to set up a volatile situation which the police not only allowed to turn bad but they appear to have had a hand in intentionally stoking the violent behavior of those present by chasing off the so-called alt-right folks right into the much-larger Antifa crowd?

Oh, sure, the people who were beaten and died still were beaten and died and everyone involved in that -- on both sides -- needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  But it matters quite a bit, I suspect, if the so-called "Nazis" involved in this were paid Nazis -- that is, stooges paid to show up, put on a "uniform" with some sort of "identity" and start trouble.  Further, one must ask: Why were the cops told to stand down, who gave that order along with the order to force the original protesters into the waiting maw of the counter-protesters and what sort of political affiliation does everyone involved in that decision hold?

The job of the police when there are demonstrations (which are lawful, permit or no permit) and counter-demonstrators show up is to keep the two sides apart.  Let them scream at each other across a street if they want; free speech is important, and to be protected.

Intentionally forcing one of the demonstrating groups into and through the opposing group is a felony criminal act and when done by a police officer or officers is a rank violation of federal law -- specifically, 18 USC 242 which makes it a criminal act to deprive anyone in the United States of their lawful Constitutional Rights under power of law or authority.   

Maybe there are a few more (serious) criminal charges that need to be filed than would first appear to be necessary.....

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2017-08-13 09:31 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 774 references
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Folks, this one's pretty simple:

1. You have the right to free speech.  That happens to not only include but is explicitly present in the Bill of Rights to protect disgusting, outrageous speech.  Why?  Because nobody ever tries to censor the other kind.  I remind you that the KKK has for decades marched in Skokie, IL -- a Jewish community.

2. You do not have the right to respond to speech, no matter how outrageous or disgusting, with violence.  Period.

If you do not both accept and embrace #1 and #2 then we no longer have a Constitutional Republic.

You will rue the day America is no longer a Constitutional Republic, no matter if you think you're on the "correct" side of the argument or not.  The day our government fails to prosecute violence directed at someone for mere speech, irrespective of how outrageous said speech may be is in fact the bright-line test as to whether our Constitutional Republic still exists.

Let's see what Jeff Sessions actually does.

As for those demanding that the President intimate that the government should, or might, suppress free speech?  I'll buy you a one-way ticket to North Korea; you'll fit right in and can watch the off-time sunshine that appears to be headed for a rendezvous with Fatman.

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2017-08-05 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 675 references
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.... (stupendously high medical prices | ridiculous college costs | cops shooting unarmed Australian women | etc)

Really?

We can't do anything peaceful and lawful about it? Oh, I fully understand why these outrageous practices exist.  You see, the hospital administrator, doctor and pharma companies have no fear when they refuse to quote you a price or bill you at 10x what an insured person who has consumed their deductible would pay through their insurance, the college dean and provost have no fear when they cause your 18 year old son to rack up $50,000 a year in student loans and the cop has no fear when he shoots an unarmed Australian woman through the window of his cop car -- and across the body of his partner.

Everyone seems to think that the concept of "fear" in this regard means doing something illegal and for which they'd immediately go to prison, which is why they're not (obviously) interested.  Oh really?

I would like to put a different postulate forward:  You really don't give a ****.

Seriously, you don't.

In fact you approve of what they're doing each and every day.

You don't care that your 17 year old son is about to get bent over the table by a university in regard to college cost.  You in fact endorse your kid being forced to pay half the kid's tuition sitting next to him in Calc class simply because you have more money than his parents do.  In fact you have already gone so far as to conspire with that administrator in screwing your own son by filling out a FAFSA form!

You don't care that the guy down the street -- or your own mother -- is billed $7,500, their entire deductible on their Obamacare insurance policy, for five stitches they need when someone who has consumed their deductible or is on Medicare would be billed $400 for the same thing.

You don't care that the Australian woman got shot and killed although unarmed in Minnesota.  After all, you're not dead (yet.)  Never mind the cops who got caught planting drugs on people in Baltimore -- more than once.

And the list goes on.  Wells Fargo, for instance -- a company that not only opened up millions of un-requested accounts and purloined millions in fees by doing so they also force-placed car insurance on car loan customers who didn't need it, bilking them and in some cases repossessing their cars for not paying that which they didn't owe while destroying their credit. You in fact don't care about the hundreds of thousands of Americans Wells screwed.

How do I know you don't care?

Because there are dozens of things you could do about it that are perfectly legal if you did care.

You could, for example, refuse to associate with said people, defined as anyone who is such a person or is employed by and thus gains their livelihood through the antics of such an organization or company.

You could stick up the middle finger every time you saw them or any member of their family.

You could picket their house.

You could picket their employer.

You could make their life so miserable that they literally couldn't associate with anyone in their hometown because everyone who chose to do so would also be shunned.

You could put Wells Fargo out of business by pulling all your money from said bank, refusing to do business with it, picketing it and refusing to associate with anyone who works there.   If you discovered that a business used them for their check processing (which is easy to determine from your canceled check stamps) you could tell that business you won't shop there as long as they use Wells because you don't want Wells Fargo to make money on your money.  In short you could refuse to pass money through the company to the extent possible and you could make working there a living hell for anyone who decided that their salary offer was reasonable given the firm's conduct.

The same is true for the local hospital, the college in your town and more.

It's not illegal to dislike someone.  It's not illegal to flip someone off.  It's not illegal to decide that you won't associate with somebody on a personal basis.  In fact, unless your decision on a business basis is predicated on one of a handful of protected classes -- race, sex, national origin and a few others it's not illegal to tell someone to screw off in a business or professional context either.

Doctors are not a protected class.  Nor are hospital administrators.  Nor are bankers that work for a specific bank.  Nor are cops, dispatchers and others that work for a cop department that likes to hire trigger-happy Somalis.

Don't talk to me about how "outraged" you are about these sorts of things.

You're not even mildly pissed off.

It was not that long ago that a certain person who I knew decided to run a five-alarm line of crap with regard to immigrants in my presence while I was out drinking with friends.  He was never really all that close of a friend, but he seemed like an ok guy and we'd hang out and drink a beer or two once in a while together -- right up until that point in time.

I've never spoken to him again and I now intentionally and quite-visibly avoid him. As far as I'm concerned he's a ghost!

That's not the first time I've decided that I will have nothing to do with a person, organization, business or anyone associated with same and it won't be the last.

Does this, for example, apply to all cops?  No.  We have a local PD here that, at least in my experience, is quite reasonable.  I have no quarrel with them.  But with anyone employed by the PD in Baltimore, or in that particular jurisdiction in Minnesota?  Nope; they can all bite me.

Likewise there's a local neighborhood with an association here that decided that a running group I hang out with didn't like us running on the roads in their development.  It's their right as a neighborhood association to make the collective decision for everyone who lives there.  But when they voiced this to our running group my response was that while I certainly respect their right to make such a decision and would, of course, honor same if anyone who lived in that development wanted me to work on their computer in the future, either at home or in their business, the price just went up by a factor of 10.  If they don't like runners then I don't like them -- all of them!

The other people at the run that evening looked at me like I had six heads and four arms for making such a proclamation.  What?  We weren't running on their lawns; we were on the sidewalks and paved streets and nowhere is there posted a "No Trespassing" sign nor is there a closed and latched gate making clear that they don't want anyone without a code or key to come into their little enclave.  I respect their communal right to decide that a couple dozen people, not blocking traffic or in any way impeding their lives, running on a sidewalk for fitness and fun, is something they don't want to see.  But my view is that such snobbish garbage has a price, and the price is that as a "prole" according to them they obviously don't need said prole's help.  If they solicit said help anyway they're going to pay an outrageously high price and I will tell them why.

See, people band together into neighborhood associations, corporations and similar structures for the express purpose of limiting personal liability and at the same time making their decisions more forceful than one individual can express on their own. By doing so they decide to collectively act, and as such it is both perfectly reasonable and fair that the consequences of those actions also be collectively applied against every member of the group who benefits from same when other people don't like what they're doing!

Americans used to have this sort of constructive and very effective view toward behavior that they found outrageous.  It's disappeared, except in places like Amish communities, where if you violate their view of sensibility you and your entire family will be shunned.

In America you're free to behave as you wish but you're not free of the perfectly-legal consequences -- that people can and will express their disgust by simply refusing to have anything to do with you.

We could solve a huge percentage of the problems in this country if we re-acquired our willingness to fly the bird and used it liberally when outrageous conduct such as any of the above surfaced applying our sanction equally to all members of any voluntary association of persons that was responsible for the conduct we object to.

When you decide to work for a corporation, buy a house with a mandatory homeowners association set of covenants on the deed or voluntarily become a part of any other collective group you do so with an expectation of benefit from those collective actions for yourself and your family.

That's fine and well but collective benefits must come with collective costs or said structures are nothing more than a means of screwing everyone that's not part of that particular "clan."

For how long would a doctor keep up with differential pricing and refusing to quote a price at all if the only people that would associate with him were those who worked in his office?  What if his kids had nobody else to play with except the handful that had families who also worked at the same hospital or office?  His wife had nobody to play bridge with -- except other hospital administrator's wives?  The current "Chargemaster" rapejob and differential pricing would disappear in an afternoon because the employees of said place would all quit except for said administrators and the hospital would be forced to close inside of an hour!

For how long would college cost $50,000 a year if every Dean, Provost, Professor and janitor couldn't manage to walk down the street without the bird in his face?  If his or her wife or husband faced the same, and their kids had nobody to play with either?  Let's extend that to grad students writing grant papers and "working" while enjoying sponsorship from said school.  FAFSA would be torn up, debt offerings would disappear in an afternoon and college would be able to be paid for by delivering pizzas -- exactly as it was 30 years ago.  Why?  That's obvious: Every professor and staff member would resign if that crap was not instantly brought to an end.

How many cops would shoot through a window at an unarmed woman if they knew that doing it would mean every single officer on the force and every administrator and employee would forevermore be unable to walk from their car to the supermarket without getting flipped the bird by everyone else?  If their families had nobody to hang out with?  Even the local "cop bar" would shut down because the only people who would drink in there are the cops and there aren't enough of them to keep the place open.  The problem would go away immediately because the price would be a complete shunning of everyone in the department, no matter their job, and every cop on the street would know that by their association with said department and (usually) union they would have become every other officer on the force's keeper.

How many banks would dare to bill hundreds of thousands of people for unnecessary and unwanted "insurance" on a fraudulent basis if they knew that the price of doing it would be that they'd literally be out of business and everyone who worked at said institution would be permanently unemployable?  It would never happen again -- you can bet on it.

Folks, we have perfectly-legal means to address damn near every outrageous bit of behavior like this.  I'm not talking about the little things that******us all off on a daily basis; those are typically individual acts and we deal perfectly well with them individually by deciding we don't want to hang out with said person any more.

No, I'm talking about frauds and scams that steal one dollar in five in our economy, that saddle our young adults with five or six figures of debt for degrees that are often worthless and in any event cost five to ten times on an inflation-adjusted basis what they should, companies that steal hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars and either toss people out of their homes or steal their cars through fraud, pig departments making "affirmative action" hires that kill people and more.  These are not small-ball things but rather ridiculous and outrageous examples of misconduct that should be prosecuted and there's plenty of reason to believe that they're also rank violations of 100+ year old law or worse.

Yes, it's true we have a corrupt political and "justice" system.  Yes, it's true that we don't have any prosecutors who will charge the hospital administrator under 15 USC Chapter 1 or, for that matter, under state consumer protection laws when they refuse to post a price and charge one person 10 or 100x what they charge someone else for the exact same thing.  Yes, it's true that our corrupt politicians made student loans non-dischargable in bankruptcy, and following that every single person who went to school has been bent over the table and taken advantage of in what can be quite-clearly characterized as financial rape.  And yes, it's true that if you or I took a potshot at someone through a car window without being clearly able to see them and they were unarmed we'd be facing 20-to-Life for Murder 2, at minimum -- yet there is not one federal or state prosecutor who has thus far brought said case.

But there is no law that says we, the people, can't peacefully and lawfully refuse to have anything to do with anyone who is in any way associated with, earns a living from, continues to eat via or profits from such an enterprise that they voluntarily join and remain associated with.

As an individual you have every right to refuse to associate with anyone for that sort of reason.

As a direct result of your decision to continue to associate with these people and their families who are directly reliant on said organizations and their outrageous conduct for the very food on their table each and every day you are choosing to endorse and permit said outrageous conduct on a continuing, daily basis.

You are in fact voting for it to keep happening in the most-effective way possible, by continuing to voluntarily break bread with, drink beer with and mingle with said people on a basic, human social basis while enabling those organizations to continue to not only exist but thrive.

In other words you are saying through your actions that their conduct is perfectly fine by you and in fact you actively support it.

If it's perfectly fine according to you why should they change what they're doing?

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2017-08-03 15:47 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 453 references
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If you're Donald Trump that Mueller has reportedly convened a Grand Jury in his probe won't keep you up at night.  It is pretty-well settled that the DOJ cannot indict a sitting President.

However, if you're anyone other than Trump and have either assisted him in the election process, in the transition or afterward and have had any sort of contact, directly or indirectly, with anyone Russian or for that matter anything else that might be construed to be a problem you won't be sleeping well for quite some time.

Nobody else is immune from indictment while Trump is in office -- not his kids, not his wife, nobody.

The opportunity to fire Mueller, which I think there's a pretty clear argument for based on the appearance of conflict of interest, just expired. Firing him now may not get Trump impeached but it will destroy any ability for him to get one vote from a Democrat and a sizable number of Republicans for anything he wants for the remainder of his term.

Oh, and Trump can be indicted on the day he leaves office -- so the fact that he can't be indicted while President is no protection -- it's only a deferral.  Theoretically the proceedings and votes of a Grand Jury are secret.  In truth given how badly so-called "secret" things leak these days I expect that "secrecy" to last all about 30 seconds.

Mueller thinks he has something worthy of presentment to the Grand Jury or he wouldn't do this.  I have no idea what it is, but whatever it is he's reasonably certain he can get at least one indictment out of it -- and probably more than one.  Remember that a Grand Jury only hears one side of the case -- the prosecution's side.  There is no right to be heard or defend yourself before a Grand Jury; that comes later after you get indicted.

This is going to get ugly.

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